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Sales Tax Holiday Is This Weekend

first_imgSales Tax Holiday Is This WeekendAll items eligible this weekend;ENERGY STAR appliances tax free until July 18MONTPELIER, Vt. – With the Independence Day weekend behind us, state officials today took time to remind Vermonters that Sales Tax Independence Days are coming this weekend.”I hope the people of Vermont and visitors to our state will take advantage of this opportunity to purchase products without paying state sales tax,” said Governor Jim Douglas. “This weekend is a chance to save some much needed cash, and to help Vermont businesses.”Included in the Governor’s Economic Growth Initiative, the sales tax holiday on July 12 and 13 means all non-business purchases of property costing $2,000 or less will be exempt from state sales tax except automobiles and vehicles.Customers can purchase multiple items on one invoice totaling more than $2,000 and still receive the exemption if the selling price of each item is $2,000 or less.For example, a customer can purchase two bicycles for $1,500 each; a roof rack for $300; and two helmets for $150 each. The invoice total is $3,600, however because each item is priced below $2,000 the entire invoice is exempt from sale tax.And from July 14th through 18th, the sale tax holiday is extended on Energy Star-rated appliances costing $2,000 or less.”This a great opportunity to replace that old, inefficient clothes washer or other appliances with a new ENERGY STAR ™-model that can help lower your electricity costs and save more money over the long run,” Douglas said. “In addition to the sales tax savings, Efficiency Vermont is continuing its offer of cash rebates from $25 to $50 on selected ENERGY STAR ™-appliances.”Efficiency Vermont is the state’s provider of efficiency services and is currently operated by Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC), an independent non-profit organization under contract to the Vermont Public Service Board.”Purchasing an ENERGY STAR ™ appliance helps Vermonters lowers their energy costs,” said Scott Johnstone, executive director of VEIC. “Everybody benefits from that.””Not only do consumers get their electric bills lowered, but reducing demand means utilities don’t need to purchase as much power,” Johnstone said. “That helps reduce not only everyone’s future electricity bills but emissions as well.”The state has been promoting the sales tax holiday event in concert with retailers and Efficiency Vermont.”We are promoting this event not only to Vermonters, but to neighboring states and Quebec,” said Kevin Dorn, Secretary of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development. “Vermont is always a popular vacation destination in the summer, and this sales tax holiday can make the state even more attractive to visitors.”Learn more at: www.taxfreevt.com(link is external)-30-last_img read more

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4 steps to ensure your CU profits in the post-apocalyptic community retail economy

first_img 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Jon Ungerland Jon Ungerland believes the core philosophy underlying credit unions is the plausible and sustainable model for preserving healthy financial institutions and promoting financially dignified and strong communities in the 21st … Web: www.dalandsolutions.com Details Retailers (physical retail stores) are struggling.   Nevertheless, it seems the trend to ‘reimagine’ the credit union and financial institution ‘branch’ as a “retail experience” is picking up steam.At DaLand CUSO, we think this makes sense; and we think it’s a promising trend. However, not because it’s what Capital One is doing with the “café” concept.Here are a few things credit unions could be doing to capitalize on a coming tidal change in community commerce and consumer behavior:Centralize data in a modern, extensible core (p.s. this is what all those disrupting fintechs and mega players are doing … and it’s why we incessantly talk about this as step one to relevance).Get intentional and intense about controlling consumer data and becoming a trusted data custodian in your community.Use your centralized and controlled data to deliver relevant, modern, digital experiences to consumers and merchants in your community: i.e. become a community commerce hub built and extended from your data.Anticipate a turn in the tide of the retail players and paradigms, and prepare to offer digital experiences to support digital payments, digital kiosks, bridging of brick-and-mortar to digital, and self-service commerce solutions to community businesses and community merchants filling the void left by the dying big-box mafia in the post-retail-apocalypse world. What do we mean by retail apocalypse?  Here’s a quick tour of the present turmoil and resultant fertile soil for financial institutions on the other side of the ongoing toppling of the megalithic retailers.It seems we can’t go a week without another article about the early casualties in the anticipated retail apocalypse.  Iconic institutions and once beloved brick-and-mortar bastions are declaring bankruptcy and bailing on physical locations at (what should be) an alarming rate.Is it Amazon’s fault?Is online shopping the eventuality for all retail experiences – including retail financial services?Will I be forced to live in a future where I’m denied the opportunity to try on my latest kicks (shoes) at DSW before buying them (from Amazon!)?Regardless the cause or abundant conjecture around social/ethical/economic cost of the shift to purely digital consumption and distribution, the facts are clear: Americans love shopping online, and they’re doing a lot of it.   It’d be odd to presume the results from this 4thQuarter high holy season of shopping and consumption will be any different than the pattern of previous years.The resulting dynamic is that we get to witness an epic capitalist battle between the titans of digital distribution (Amazon, Google, eBay, etc.) and behemoth big-box stores as they duke it out over digital vs. direct consumer experiences.  Evidence seems to mount each quarter that big-box stores will either adapt (like WalMart and Target) or die.When the current “retail apocalypse” trend of 2019 continues in to 2020 and beyond, what will be our lot and fortune (as communities and community financial institutions), other than an abundance of baron beige buildings anchoring prime real-estate location in countless strip malls nationwide?Human behavior is predictably patterned.  Our desires are, in the end, quite simple.  More than likely, when 4th2019 quarter retail figures pour in this coming January, market data will demonstrate our economy and society are very close to pushing the pendulum too far in the direction towards over-saturation and excessive satisfaction of our rampant desire for online consumerism and same-day delivery.  It wouldn’t be the least bit surprising to start to hear murmurs in early 2020 about the end of Amazon, Apple, eBay, etc. In fact, for even the most remotely open and imaginative mind, it’s relatively easy to envision a future where consumers become aware of haunting void; a not-so-distant past where we escaped from Netflix and NFL to spend our weekends touching physical objects and envisioning better versions of ourselves in dressing room mirrors!Sure, we may be a couple years away from the pendulum starting to swing back towards brick-and-mortar.  So, that means your financial institution should have plenty of time to prepare for the change in tide, that is if you start developing and deploying a strategy now!How might that strategy look?  Well, it could start with using technology and data to extend digital experiences to your consumers, driven directly from your core data (your most potent understanding of your consumer and community), as a means to build a bridge back into your brick-and-mortar retail locations.Better yet, a strategy for the post-apocalyptic retail landscape could begin with community financial institutions getting serious about controlling data, and centralizing data, as a means of being prepared to more profitably and proficiently engage local consumers and add value to community businesses.On the topic of community businesses, in the post-retail-apocalypse fallout, local merchants and retailers are likely to be the seeds of civilization which community financial institutions should plan to ‘water’ as we work to re-grow Main Streets and mercantilism in the 21stCentury.  How else will we thwart the inevitable fiscal fascism of totally centralized and conglomerated financial services markets?If the present moment contains the seeds of an opposite and emerging complimentary moment, like the ancient wisdom of the Yin and Yang might teach us, then credit union execs and technologist should anticipate an emergence of local boutiques, merchants, service providers, etc., looking for someone to provide them digital experiences for payments, online ordering, scheduling, order-ahead, etc.;and your credit union could plug these players into relevance-generating and brick-and-mortar enhancing digital consumer and commercial banking experiences.Or, we could just sit around and lament Google and Citi teaming up to launch a checking account in 2020, and plan to watch our capital evaporate around us while local entrepreneurs and merchants desperately wander a desolate community business landscape looking for willing partners to help them fill a developing niche in the hearts of local consumers.Fortunately, your friends at DaLand CUSO have strategic solutions to help you achieve all of the above via our simple partnership process, that is if you’re serious about using your modern core to cement your credit union’s position of relevance in the community – regardless the tumult of the times.Happy holidays…last_img read more

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Miller: I’m hoping the Cubs’ long title drought continues

first_imgThe Chicago Cubs ending the franchise’s 108-year World Series drought would be a great story.But I can think of one story that would be even better: The Cubs’ drought reaching 109 years.Unless you’re a fan of the team, why would you pull for such a torturously wonderful and wonderfully torturous tale to suddenly vanish? What’s the point of pain if the rest of us can’t find delight in the suffering of others? Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Think about it. You never read heart-wrenching, collar-drenching essays about “short-suffering fans.”This is the reason I was pulling for Golden State in the most recent NBA Finals. I wasn’t against LeBron James winning. But I was for LeBron James not winning, thus extending for another season his delicious struggle to secure a championship for beleaguered Cleveland.Remember, this is sports, not love. Here, absence makes the heart grow harder, and Cleveland fans are famous for possessing tickers of Teflon. Historically, it wasn’t like they had any other choice.James and the Cavaliers won, of course, and now here we are, just four months later, and Cleveland is right back in the title hunt again. This time, it’s the Indians chasing ghosts that retain their invisibility, but, thanks to LeBron, have been stripped of their invincibility.Cleveland’s baseball team hasn’t won a World Series since 1948, the sort of futility trumpeted in “Major League,” a movie that itself is now so old that, at the time it was filmed, Charlie Sheen was still considered moderately normal.It was English writer Sir Arthur Helps who once observed, “Strength is born in the deep silence of long-suffering hearts; not amid joy.”In that case, fans of the Indians, Cubs, Dodgers and Blue Jays should have enough combined strength to bench press Burbank.Baseball’s current final four has gone a total of 227 years without winning a World Series. That’s two-plus joyless centuries, the kind of monotonous, unforgiving reality typically reserved for things like communist oppression.Placed in that context, it almost sounds like the only reliable source for those latest box scores would be the New Testament.Old Sir Arthur died in 1875, meaning he wasn’t alive for the Cubs’ most recent championship. Then again, who was around back in 1908?Emma Morano was, for one, the Italian woman considered to be the oldest living human being today at age 116. It’s pretty well known, however, that Emma is a hockey fan.As you are certainly aware, the Cubs haven’t won in a long time, a long time being the same year baseball adopted the sacrifice fly rule.When the Cubs last claimed a World Series, spitballs were still legal and major league teams nicknamed the Naps, Doves and Superbas were playing.They didn’t sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh-inning stretch of the 1908 World Series because the song hadn’t yet been released. It is quite possible, though, that Harry Caray was singing something somewhere.This is the mountain of soul-aching nostalgia against which the Dodgers will be leaning over the next several days. This, plus the fact they’re representing a franchise that hasn’t won since 1988.There’s a real sense that the Dodgers have something special happening. The “Win for Vin” movement remains alive, as does the notion that this bunch is operating with 25 hearts but only one heartbeat.Also undeniable is the way the Dodgers have persevered through a season that can rightly be described as “next man down,” an unending series of injuries depleting a roster of its depth but not its talent.As Dodgers fans know, the waiting is supposed to be the hardest part. But the losing isn’t exactly easy, either.So, a drought will end over the next couple weeks, while three droughts continue. I have my rooting interest, the story of the Cubs so much better if they pay proper homage to their depressing past.Everyone knows their history. Here’s hoping — 103 regular-season wins and all — they’re now groomed to repeat it.center_img The Red Sox going 8 1/2 decades without a title was much more interesting than the Red Sox winning three titles in one decade.Likewise, I think most Dodgers fans would agree that watching the Giants fail year after year for more than 50 years was preferable to watching them win the World Series three times in five years.In fact, I think most Dodgers fans would agree that anything would have been preferable to that, including the application and subsequent removal of a misspelled tongue tattoo.In this business, we root for stories, not teams, and the better story always will be the continued push against agony and angst in the pursuit of a championship that simply won’t be caught.That’s how it is in our nightmares, right? Running, crawling, reaching and stretching toward something that somehow, someway remains just beyond our desperate grasp?last_img read more

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Sport stars Shay Given and Karen Guthrie raise active flag for Castlefinn school – Pic Special

first_imgInternational soccer star Shay Given and Donegal Ladies Captain Karen Guthrie came together on Wednesday morning to raise the active flag in Castlefinn.The two Donegal native came together to raise the flag at the St Safan’s NS in Doneyloop.Following the raising of the flag, both sport stars joined the children for a question and answer session in the school with some excellent questions on what both players eat before games, what was their most memorable games were and around training. As a past pupil of the school, Karen was asked if she was happy to be back and she was delighted to be back.While Shay was asked why he wears so much hair gel by a certain senior infant.Sport stars Shay Given and Karen Guthrie raise active flag for Castlefinn school – Pic Special was last modified: June 5th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Weak crop prices lead to sharp decline in producer sentiment

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest After months of increases in producer sentiment toward the U.S. agricultural economy, the August reading of the Purdue/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer showed that declining commodity prices are weighing on the minds of producers.Producer sentiment declined sharply to 95 — a 17-point drop from the July reading. The barometer is based on a monthly survey of 400 U.S. agricultural producers and includes measures of sentiment toward current conditions and future expectations.The Index of Current Conditions fell from 93 in July to 80 in August, while the Index of Future Expectations dropped to 102 from July’s 121.“This was in sharp contrast to July when farmers’ optimism about future prospects pushed the barometer up, despite their concerns about current economic conditions,” said Jim Mintert, the barometer’s principal investigator and director of Purdue’s Center for Commercial Agriculture. “Farmer sentiment in late spring and early summer was buoyed by a spring rally in key commodity prices, but near-ideal growing conditions for corn and soybeans this summer helped push yield prospects up and crop prices down sharply.”Since the peak of the price rally in mid-June, December 2016 corn futures have fallen by more than $1 per bushel and November soybean futures by $1.75 per bushel.In its August Crop Production report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture indicated that record corn and soybean yields are expected this fall. If that’s the case, carryover stocks for both crops will grow, potentially resulting in the lowest corn prices in a decade.Unsurprisingly, the resulting tighter operating margins are leading to adjustments in production costs, said David Widmar, senior research associate who works on the barometer.“What is somewhat surprising is that more producers expect input prices to rise in 2017 than decline,” he said. “This was especially true for crop protection products, as nearly one-third of respondents expected prices to increase for herbicides, insecticides and fungicides. The long-term trend for crop input prices to rise seems to be leading to skepticism regarding prospects for input prices to decline, despite the lack of profitability among crop producers.”Read the full August report, find additional resources and sign up to receive monthly barometer email updates at http://purdue.edu/agbarometer.last_img read more

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